The last few weeks we have focused on the many “faces of the Rescuer.” Crusaders, like all Rescuers, jump-in and save the day, whether they have been asked to help or not.
Crusaders see what’s wrong in the world and make it their business to fix it. They seem to have a nose for what’s wrong, especially if they sense unfairness or injustice. This could be an unjust policy at work or a much larger system issue or institution. Crusaders scan the horizon looking for unfairness and often attract those who have been wronged.
There’s nothing wrong with tackling injustice. The difficulty for the Crusader is when the issue they want to fix takes over their lives and becomes their sole purpose.
When others don’t seem to have the same level of intensity for the issue they are focused on, Crusaders can become self-righteous and critical of those who do not share their level of commitment. At the extreme, Crusaders dedicate their entire life to fixing whatever they feel is wrong without regard for their own well-being or life balance. Their work can create the change they desire, however their intense focus on what they have declared wrong and unfair will take a toll on them.
Crusaders believe that their purpose in life is to fix the world’s problems. The reality is that Crusaders often use other people to work out their own inner pain. They consciously or unconsciously believe that when they fix the issue they have set out to change, others will see their good deeds and they will finally feel worthy.
Looking back on the time Donna spent in elected service she now realizes that she had unknowingly played the role of Rescuer as Crusader. Her task was to “fix” many issues she felt strongly about. There’s nothing wrong with that desire. However, she often felt disappointed and demoralized when she didn’t meet her goals.
Rather than focusing on the good that they’ve accomplished, Crusaders always find another issue to fix or focus on. The result can be burn-out from continuously focusing on what’s wrong rather than their accomplishments.
Next week we will begin to focus on how to shift from the many faces of the Rescuer to the more resourceful and empowering role of Coach in TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic)™. As we often say, the shift is simple but not easy.